26 December 2010

The Future of Language

There has been much speculation lately about the future of language, indeed speculation seems to be the very foundation of modern society. The future is notoriously difficult to predict, and the future of language even more notorious as we don't know what the language of the future will be and it is far from clear that, even were we to predict the future perfectly, they will still be capable of understanding our prediction, written as it is in the language of today and not the language of tomorrow, which is difficult to know in advance for the above-stated reasons.

But last night I figured out where language is going. You know how some languages have a specific word for something but in other languages they don't really have a word for that but they get to roughly the same idea by combining other words and phrases, perhaps illustrating with an example? Well humans are getting smarter and eventually will get sick of pulling from the same old bag of sounds and words to build up the same old sentences and arguments. Instead, people will start to invent single words that represent entire concepts, conversations, chains of reasoning, and so forth.

Perhaps a brief example may prove enlightening.

How are you doing, how's it going, what's up and all such simple openers could be represented by a single word, let's say it's 'Urgh.' Likewise every possible reply, from I'm fine to My back is breaking to Whatever I can say that will get me away from you as fast as possible, will each be represented by a single word -- for the sake of dragging this out further let's say, respectively, dunn, fosh, and tope. If this trend continues evolving at anything like the present rate of evolution, a conversation in the year 2300 might go something like this:

Human 1: Urgh.
Human 2: Plask.
Human 1: Offervessenhosen.
Human 2: Varn?
Human 1: Actually of all the composers of the 20th century the one I most prefer is Shostakovitch.
Human 2: Brunk!*
*"You pretentious clown, despite my nonviolent nature I long to inflict physical harm!"

It can be seen that efficiency is greatly improved, as a rambling conversation that might have taken all night back when we were in college could in future be completed in less than thirty seconds, with no loss in depth or comprehension and with significant savings of incense. On the other hand one cannot help but feel that inevitably something will be lost, something that cannot be expressed in one word, no matter of how many syllables. Still that's progress, and there's nothing we can do about it except hunker down and enjoy the ride. Check back in this space around 2250 and we'll see how this prediction turns out. Well if we can decipher all them futuristic new words the kids will be using by then.

And this is where I get my sign-off on. Are you ready Cincinnati? Boom shaka-laka Boom-ah! Post out.

09 December 2010

Relentlessly Positive (Tammy’s Post)

This guest post was sent in by one of our readers, Tammy.

I love that. Omigod stop it right now, just stop. No wait keep going. I love what you are doing right there. That is an absolutely wonderful sweater. Wasn't that just the best cup of coffee you have ever had?

I am a relentlessly positive person and I guess that's why people like me. Some folks ask how I can always be so positive but I assure you it's not an affectation -- that's just the way I'm wired.

It must be why people seem to gravitate towards me. I make them feel good about themselves, and that makes them feel good about me. It feels good to make people feel good about feeling good about each other, and that's what I'm all about: feeling good about people.

Like I can see an elf in a Michael Caine costume on the 4th of July but I'll still give him a big hug and be like, Hey you crazy elfie Alfie, thanks for trying to brighten my day!

I love my life!

Oh occasionally you see some tramp in a hideous outfit that is just like Oh my god, what were you thinking when you put that on? But you know, that's okay, I can still stay positive and find something nice to say. I guess it's a gift more than anything else.

And to people who can't handle my unflagging positivity at all times, I say: Fuck you! Eat shit and die fuckers, 'cause I'm a freaking positive person and you can either like it or just get your sorry ass the fuck out of here. There, got that off my chest, that feels great.

Let positivity reign!

Wow, don't try to tell me you did not get a haircut, a new hemline or have your eyes glossed or something, because you look almost totally amazing today! Okay, now that that boring introduction will have thrown off all those short attention spans, let's get down to brass tacks: let's talk world domination.

In order to dominate the world one is going to have to invest significant resources in transportation infrastructure. Shipping lanes, after all, will need to be kept open, and the devastating attacks of pirates have scuttled many a plan to conquer the Earth. A security force of some kind, armed with top of the line weapons systems, should be at the top of your shopping list. A cadre of loyal and experienced officers to command your military will also be of the most important essence -- but let's blow up that bridge when we're crossing it.

The media also seems to be pretty important these days and control of the media starts with control of the internet, which of course can never be controlled, so the best strategy is probably to hire a good media consultant and try to project a powerful image that will cause peoples and their armies to subjugate themselves to your rule, or at least follow you on Twitterer.

Here then is our first learn: these things cost money. You are going to need a shitload of cash to establish control of those shipping lanes, and the best PR firms charge a fortune. So before you can even begin to implement your plan you are going to need at least ten billion dollars, plus access to more if you can get it printed.

Sound daunting? It should, because it is. But recall that deep down, most people want to be dominated. They are desperately searching for something, someone, anyone they can bow themselves down before (or at least follow on Twitterer). This makes them relatively easy to dominate, and although the 140 character limit can be somewhat restrictive, it should not in itself derail your deranged ambition: world domination.

If you can seize control of time you can probably dominate the world, although it may be reasonably objected that seizing control of time is a tactic and not a strategy. Still, the distinction is not Jermaine to the present discussion, as control of time, though it could only be used as a last resort, would seem to offer a weapon that at the very least could really mess with the enemy's head, I mean imagine putting a little Groundhog Day thing on them, every day they wake up and it's the same day over again! A little of that could break the spirit of any of history's greatest warriors, from Napoleon to Richard Lewis the Lionhearted.

How about you, dear reader? How would you propose to dominate the world? Use the Comment Box below, or drop me a line at: Whirled Domination, 182 Sandbox Avenue, Nine Times Out of Ten, Bonneville Salt Flats, Jersey Shores, Saskatchewan, Bozo Jones the Unfathomable. Be sure to toss fifty bucks in there if you expect me to read it.

05 December 2010

Blog Passes First Anniversary

The PBJ passed its first anniversary last night by observing a moment of silence, followed by four hundred and eleven moments of partying like there was no tomorrow, then there was a moment or two in the bathroom, then a pregnant pause and six moments for reflection, one of which was punctuated by a distant explosion, immediately followed by a shocking revelation and then a commercial break to generate the revenue a young blog needs to grow and thrive.

The blog, although it knows the exact instant it was created and is capable of calculating and recalculating its age several thousand times per second for all of eternity, seemed either unaware of or unaffected by the meaning of the anniversary occasion. A spokesman for the blog noted that although blogs can talk to you like a person, and sometimes dispense handy hints for collecting papier mache owls or restoring pre-Cambrian furniture, they are not actually human and instead seem to represent some sort of missing link between the human and the machine.

The spokesman then marked the occasion by dumping the Gatorade bucket over its head from behind, much to the chagrin of the blog, which was happy to get out of there with the win but would have preferred to celebrate by linking to some supermodel web sites over at Berlusconi's iPad.